Saccharophagus degradans belongs to a recently discovered group of marine bacteria equipped with an arsenal of sugar cleaving enzymes coupled to carbohydrate-binding domains to degrade various insoluble complex polysaccharides. The modular Sde-1182 protein consists of a family 2 carbohydrate binding module linked to a X158 domain of unknown function. The 1.9 A and 1.55 A resolution crystal structures of the isolated X158 domain bound to the two related polyisoprenoid molecules, ubiquinone and octaprenyl pyrophosphate, unveil a beta-barrel architecture reminiscent of the YceI-like superfamily that resembles the architecture of the lipocalin fold. This unprecedented association coupling oxidoreduction and carbohydrate recognition events may have implications for effective nutrient uptake in the marine environment.
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